Soulthreat
Storm of Time

This is the first release by a one-man project out of Germany. 24-year old Pius Grave handles songwriting, vocals and all instruments, including a triple guitar attack. Before putting this in, I had no idea what to expect, but this was a nice surprise.

Soulthreat performs a combination of progressive and classic heavy metal, with thick death vocals. Lots of melodic leads over a chugging backbone – the pace is slower and more measured than the stuttery jackhammer battery you get from a lot of modern prog or power-prog metal bands, but it works just fine. Overall, I was most impressed by the songwriting here. He has a good handle on flow, and ably walks the line between focus and whimsy – something that some overly ambitious prog-metal bands get horribly wrong. This is usually more restrained and elegant – standout tracks like “Storm of Time,” “Lasting Memories” and the epic, Viking-themed “Mental Suicide” remind me of Dan Swano/Edge of Sanity, which is a really good thing. Some simpler tracks, like the martial “Self-Determination” feel like Amon Amarth, which is fine too. There are some occasional rough patches where a song loses its focus by relying too much on wandering melodies (“The Evil Unknown”), but overall there’s enough here to keep your interest throughout.

As with many self-produced debuts, the sound quality is a mixed bag. By and large, it holds together, but it’s still a muddy mix, with some elements sounding like they were recorded from across the room. Drums (all programmed) are very tepid and anemic throughout. They’re only here to anchor songs, and provide no power. There’s also a smattering of synths for texture and ambience – the sound library could be better but it seems about the norm for an independent artist. None of this makes for a bad listen, but to return to the Dan Swano reference again, I can imagine how great this would be if it had Crimson II’s production quality.

Anyway, Soulthreat is a project that deserves to be nurtured – there’s a lot of raw talent here. With a proper recording budget and the help of a seasoned producer to help craft the sound and the writing even more, I think this could be something really strong in the future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
February 13th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    um why is “Storm of Time” highlighted in yellow?


  2. Commented by: Larry "Staylow" Owens

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